RE: Documenting in Windows 8 - Click? Press? Select?

Subject: RE: Documenting in Windows 8 - Click? Press? Select?
From: Andy Tran <atran -at- bstonetech -dot- com>
To: "Wroblewski, Victoria" <vwroblewski -at- NECsphere -dot- com>, "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 20:15:06 +0000

Wow, you bring up a lot of great questions. I can't say that I've given it much thought just yet -- I work in the federal government space, so the likelihood of Windows 8 rearing its head is pretty far off still. But still, there are always multiple ways to navigate to any particular thing even before Windows 8 (mouse vs keyboard strokes) and many alternative navigational elements are normally added (in my experience) as an appendix of "Hot Keys" or whatnot.

Even now, my technical documentation never uses the word "click." It's always "Select" or "open" or "hover" (which -is- mouse-specific, but "hover" could potentially be also a way of saying "touch and hold" on a touch-device, maybe?). Part of that is because government documentation for software needs to apply to certain accessibility standards, with one assumption being that a mouse may not be what a user is using to navigate a screen. So it may be a better of selecting your verbs carefully and being somewhat generic with regard to instructional navigation.

---
Andy Tran
Technical Writer -- Management Consultant
Blackstone Technology Group

________________________________________
From: techwr-l-bounces+atran=bstonetech -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [techwr-l-bounces+atran=bstonetech -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] on behalf of Wroblewski, Victoria [vwroblewski -at- NECsphere -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:12 PM
To: 'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'
Subject: Documenting in Windows 8 - Click? Press? Select?

Has anyone out there had to start documenting anything for Windows 8 yet? It's starting to peek over the horizon with some of my projects, and I'm trying to see if there is yet any standard way of dealing with it.

If you've happily ignored everything about Windows 8, it's designed to work on both traditional PCs and also tablet devices. And they obviously forgot the uproar from a lot of technical writers back when the replaced the word "Start" menu with the icon - they've removed the start menu entirely.

While I'm okay with the idea that we may just have to tell user to open/access and application without direct instructions on how to find it via the Start menu (instead of "Go to Windows Start > All Programs > Application Name", just saying "Open Application Name") I'm struggling with how to document the user experience since it may not be a single experience - will they be using a tablet and used to "press/tap" terminology? Or a standard laptop with a mouse and clicks? Or even a touch screen enabled PC where they may be able to press/tap or use a mouse?

For my own purposes - the likelihood is going to be adding Windows 8 support to an application that used to be desktop-based only. And it's still looming on the horizon (but those things also tend to appear that way, and then approach you rather quickly).

I've done some searches and if Microsoft has provided any guidance on this, it's well hidden enough where I haven't been able to find it. (Curse you, MMS for making us all go the "click" route years ago and then changing the game on it).

So, anyone doing this yet? Or planning their approach?


- V

Victoria J. Wroblewski
Technical Writer
NEC Sphere Communications, Inc.
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References:
Documenting in Windows 8 - Click? Press? Select?: From: Wroblewski, Victoria

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